Computer Crime Research Center


Survey suggests economy could lead to cybercrime increase

Date: March 20, 2009

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Results of a study showing that companies around the world are facing increased risks of cybertheft points to a need for businesses to take extra steps in protecting intellectual property, according to Purdue University experts.

Led by antivirus software giant McAfee Inc., the study, titled “Unsecured Economics: Protecting Vital Information,” found that companies lost an estimated $4.6 billion in intellectual property last year as a result of cybercrime. It warns that the global recession could push those numbers even higher.

The study will provide a basis for a panel discussion at Purdue’s Center for Education and Research in Information Assurance and Security’s 10th annual symposium Tuesday (March 24) and Wednesday (March 25). The discussion will be 9:45 a.m. Wednesday, and for more information on the symposium visit

McAfee looked to the center — also known as CERIAS — to conduct the study. The center is based on bringing researchers together with commercial, nonprofit and government organizations that have an interest in information security. In this case, the researchers were a pair of Purdue faculty in management.

“CERIAS involves various disciplines in research programs that are driven by real problems,” said Eugene H. Spafford, the center’s executive director. “We were able to match experts in different areas to the research that McAfee needed.”

The researchers surveyed chief information officers of about 800 companies in the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany, Japan, China, India and Brazil.
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